Saturday, August 31, 2019

Check out the Buwan ng Wika Visayan costumes of my boys

I can't let August slip away without sharing with you the costumes my boys wore for Buwan ng Wika. Proud mama me is happy to report these were inexpensive and partly homemade. Also, blogger me is disclosing I'm blogging about this because so many people were saying they were Googling "Visayan costumes for boys" so - lightbulb moment! - nakakuha ako ng idea for an SEO-friendly post hehe!

August was super busy so I really wanted to buy a costume first kas wala talaga akong time! But everything I found online were either Katipunero/farmer costumes or Igorot and Muslim costumes. For my older sons, their assigned costume was Visayan. When I asked a costume maker about that, she said, "Naku, ma'am, ang mga Bisaya, mga nakahubad ang mga yan. Example po, si Lapu-Lapu. Bale, bigyan ko na lang kayo ng bahag at pambalot sa ulo tapos hubad na lang yung mga bata."

This is what I found on our hero, Datu Lapu-Lapu:

Visayans are also known for their fierce tattooed bodies. From the islands of Panay to Leyte, there are people called Pintados. Even Lapu-Lapu had tattoos. So we Googled Pintados and a lot of fabulous photos from festivals came up! As in. Nakakatuwa sobra. But here's the one in Wikipedia:

My sons weren't so hot about going naked and wearing a diaper. But I figured since taga-Leyte mga magulang ko and the fact that Visayas were their assignment, we should just commit to it. By this time, our costume supplier was fully booked so hindi na raw siya available so off I went to Megamall because they've got it all for you!

At the tourist-favorite shop Kultura, there were lots of parents buying Filipino costumes. And grabe ha, hindi sila mura. Basically mga P1500 kada costume. Parang OA naman. So I figured I'd buy a nude shirt, make a Pintados design, buy tela na may traditional print (kahit hindi na strictly Bisaya) and gawan ko ng paraan yun.

Sa SM Department Store kiddie section, nakahanap ako ng nude undershirts. If you're looking for the same, sabihin niyo naghahanap kayo ng pang-barong. Mga P150 lang sila. Yey! Sa Kultura ko nabili yung tela. P800 siya. So lumabas na wala pang 1K per costume! Super kuripot me was so happy!!!

The kids helped with the design of their shirts and, armed with permanent markers, sila na ang gumawa ng sarili nilang tattoos. Ayaw nila ng bahag so binalot na lang namin yung tela around their waists and they wore shorts sa ilalim. Super happy sila sa costumes nila!!! These photos were taken at 5:30 in the morning and buhay na buhay sila sa excitement haha

Of course, my bunso also had his own Buwan ng Wika celebration sa school niya. With him, sabi ng teachers niya na okay na yung Katipunero costume that he wore when he was in Nursery last year. We just needed a bigger shirt and binaba namin sa hips niya yung pants para hindi bitin. We just used a straw fedora instead of the usual straw hat para mas cool siya haha He's sooooo cute, diba???

So, mga mamas, I've been super enjoying all the Pinoy costumes I've been seeing on social media. Medyo nakaka-stress maghanap ng costume but the results are always worth it. Parang motherhood lang!

*Lapu-Lapu monument photo from Country Within a City; Pintados photo from Wikipedia.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Our favorite find at National Book Store: dotted journals!

Last week, a video that Vito and I made for National Book Store debuted (naks, debut talaga haha) on Facebook.

I love working with my son. This is the second video we've done for National. Last year, Vito and I starred in a back-to-school marketing campaign where we hawked lunch bags.

I really like that lunch bag. I still have the pink and purple of it. Vito's blue and Iñigo's red were so well used and abused for an entire school year, nabutas na haha. I was really hoping National would sell them again this year.

Anyway, we also did an unboxing of our shopping.

So some moms who watched our video this month asked, "What did you buy po? Sana may unboxing din!" Oo nga naman! Well, it's not very exciting kasi we bought ball pens, Spider-Man pencils, highlighters, bond paper... you know, school supplies!

But Vito and I did find a very nice and affordable journal. As in sobra kaming tuwang-tuwa sa kanya. Are we mababaw to get all excited about a notebook? Maybe. Pero sa pamilya ko kasi, we are writers and artists. We love to write down everything. As in everything! The kids love to draw. They draw every single day! So notebooks are a HUGE deal here in our home. So, mamas, check out our favorite National Book Store find: Limelight Dotted Journals!

The blue has subtle gold flecks.
Love the cheerful color and lines!
The journal is really thick. I can do 12 months plus notes and drawings pa!
Pocket at the back cover.
Empty pages excite me!
Vito uses his as a planner, gaming notes, and writing his stories and comics. 

Vito's dotted journal is already used but I'm saving mine for my 2020 bullet journal. Actually, we both want to buy more because there are more cover designs and P220 lang siya! Sobrang affordable!!!

We found this at the Glorietta 1 branch. The two branches near our house are small so very limited ang items available there so I think, if you want to buy this dotted journal, you'll have to go to a big branch like in Glorietta.

Now remember: Everything you need for school is at National Book Store. You can shop at their hundreds of branches nationwide or you can shop online at You can also call 8888-NBS (627) to order and have your shopping delivered! Follow @nationalbookstore on Instagram, and @nbsalert on Twitter, Viber, and YouTube.

*This post is brought to you by National Book Store.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

2 easy recipes to elevate your favorite tuna sandwich and Thai noodles

PRESS RELEASE - Admit it, more often than not, what you have in your pantry would be hassle-free instant food. As any person who’s lived independently (ahem, alone) knows, instant food is pretty painless and requires minimal to no cooking. That means not only do you get to eat faster, but you also lessen the potential damage you can inflict on your kitchen. 

But hey, eating shouldn’t just be about filling your stomach. Good food can work wonders for the soul – and your ego – since you’re actually going to do this. A quick scan through The Maya Kitchen’s trove of recipes has provided these 2 simple ways to transform your instant meals into tastier, healthier, and over-all, fancier dishes. Let’s get down to business! 

From canned tuna to Italian sandwich! 

This Chili Corned Tuna Salad in Panini Toast provides a yummy twist to your canned staple. And you can do this in just 3 steps! Start by mixing drained corned canned tuna with celery, onion, pickle relish, mayonnaise, chili powder, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Lay thin cuts of cucumber and red onion on top of a slice of toasted batard bread. Lastly, spread the tuna salad mixture onto the bread. Enjoy it by yourself or share the hefty servings!


1 can corned tuna, 380 grams, drained
2 tablespoons celery, chopped
1 piece red onion, sliced or chopped
3 tablespoons pickle relish
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon chili powder
salt and pepper to taste
3 pairs prepared buttered batard bread slices, pressed in panini machine
cucumber, thinly sliced
red onion, thinly sliced

1. In a bowl, put and mix together drained tuna, celery, onion, pickle relish, mayonnaise, and chili powder. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside. 
2. Get a piece of toasted batard bread and lay pieces on top, thinly slices of cucumber and red onion slices. 
3. Scoop a dollop of the tuna salad mixture on top of the cucumber and onion, placing them alternately on top of one another, then cover with another batard bread on top. 
4. Serve with slices of lemon on the side.

Yield: 3 servings

Instant noodles to Thai stir-fry! 

Your favorite pack of instant noodles is filled with endless possibilities far beyond the instructions on the back. Use it to whip up this Thai Chicken and Peanut Stir-Fry Noodles recipe, a great (and healthier!) option to your usual instant fare. Pan fry pieces of chicken until lightly browned, then add in carrots, onion, garlic, mushroom, bell pepper, and oyster sauce. Cook the noodles together with peanut butter sauce for 5 minutes. Place noodles on a platter, then top it with the stir-fried chicken, vegetable mixture, wansoy leeks, and roasted peanuts. And voila, you’ve added a Thai dish to your menu! 


3 tablespoons oil
150 grams chicken breast fillet, chopped
1 piece large-sized carrots, julienne
1 piece medium-sized onion, sliced
1 tablespoon garlic
100 grams sliced fresh shitake mushrooms
1 cup bell peppers (red, yellow and green)
3 tablespoons oyster sauce or light soy sauce
500 grams fresh egg thick noodles “miki”, blanched, washed and cleaned
prepared peanut sauce
1/3 cup wansoy, chopped
2 stalks leeks, sliced diagonally
freshly roasted peanuts, as needed

Peanut Sauce:
3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter 
2-3 tablespoons Chinese chili-garlic sauce
1 cup water
2 tablespoons rice wine/mirin
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon grated ginger
salt and pepper to taste

1. In a clean bowl, mix all ingredients together until all sugar has dissolved. Set aside. 
2. Heat oil in a sautéing pan and pan-fry chicken until lightly browned.
3. Add in carrots, onion, and garlic and continue sautéing until onions and garlic are translucent and aromatic.
4. Stir in mushrooms, bell pepper, and oyster sauce, give a quick stir. Do not overcook the vegetables. Set aside a little amount of stir-fried chicken and vegetable mixture for toppings.
5. In the same pan, toss in noodles and pour in the prepared peanut sauce. Cook no more than 5 minutes.
6. Before turning off the heat, mix in the wansoy and leeks into the noodles.
7. Serve noodles on to the platter, top with the remaining stir-fried chicken and vegetable mixture and sprinkle on top with roasted peanuts before serving.

Yield: 5-6 servings

Nothing beats quick, easy-to-follow recipes from The Maya Kitchen to help you turn your instant meals into everyday gourmet dishes. Learn more uncomplicated ways to eat well at

Like and follow The Maya Kitchen on Facebook and Instagram @TheMayaKitchen1 and follow us on Twitter @TheMayaKitchen.

Learn great recipes at If you want to take your baking and cooking skills up a notch, check out Maya Kitchen’s course offerings at the website, email, or visit The Maya Kitchen Culinary Center every Tuesday to Saturday at 8F Liberty Building, 835 A. Arnaiz Avenue (Pasay Road), Makati City or call 8921185 or 892-5011 local 108 or +63929 679 6102.

*To be featured on Press Release Tuesdays, send it to